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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47

Household Servants

Household Servants.

Scarce; wages high, 10 dollars to 12 dollars (40s. to 48s. English) a month for nurse-girls; 20 to 25 dollars, and even 30 dollars (4l, to 5l. to 6l. English) a month with board for general house-servants, having some knowledge of cooking; a considerable number of well principled, competent women servants can be employed in respectable families—those accustomed to country work are most wanted—many men of good character and means are pining for wives in the country districts.

China women do not take servants' places. China men are employed as cooks at 20 to 25 dollars (4l, to 5l. English) a month with board. They cut fire-wood, light fires, clean boots, &c., but a good deal of the household work, nevertheless, falls on members of the family. China men are quiet, but many heads of families object to them. Indian cooks (men) are employed at 20 to 25 dollars (4l. to 5l. English) with board, and make fair servants when employers understand their character.

A good woman servant might soon make money. For men there is an open field with no favour. For women an open field full of favours. Unfortunately it has been found that some of those women who have reached the province have been fickle. Many of them have been disinclined to go to country work, and some have "tip-tilted" their noses at everything. Surely, however, the right class can be found, when wages are so good.

The best plan at present for persons of moderate means is to do without servants; getting help for wood cutting, washing, and scrubbing floors. The idea may be one to shrink from, but this plan is not burdensome in actual every-day life. A settler will find many doing this in the province who are socially his equals.